April 16, 2001 |
The field for the Kentucky Derby is coming into focus, and what's crystal clear is that trainer Bob Baffert possesses a powerful 1-2 punch in Point Given and Congaree. What remains to be seen, however, is whether usual Derby trainers D. Wayne Lukas and Nick Zito can come up with 3-year-olds worthy of competing in the Derby on May 5. Lukas, with four Derby wins and at least one runner in each of the last 20 editions, might be down to his final chance in Turnberry Isle, scheduled to run in the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday.
September 2, 1995 |
Five years ago, Preakness winner Summer Squall came to Philadelphia Park and won the Pennsylvania Derby. Thus ended a remarkable run of star-quality performers in the commonwealth's biggest thoroughbred race. Smarten, Broad Brush, Afleet - those were serious horses. Summer Squall won $1.8 million in a career compromised by a bleeding problem. The 13 3-year-olds entered yesterday for Monday's 17th Pennsylvania Derby have combined to win just under $1.2 million. It's a nice, competitive field, but the winner will become the first Grade II stakes winner of the bunch.
September 20, 2011 |
THE BIG horse is not coming, but, for just the second time in the history of the Pennsylvania Derby, a Triple Crown race winner will be in the starting gate for Saturday's $1 million race at Parx Racing. Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice was installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the field of nine 3-year-olds for the mile-and-an-eighth race. Close second-choice is To Honor and Serve. It would be no surprise if To Honor and Serve, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, actually is made the favorite by post time.
May 7, 2011 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The pockmarked road to the Kentucky Derby claimed another victim Friday when Uncle Mo was scratched because of a mysterious stomach ailment, further dimming a race already short on star power and speed. Uncle Mo's defection also threw the Derby wide open. "You're never safe until you put that saddle on, because anything can happen," Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said. Owner Mike Repole announced the decision to scratch second favorite Uncle Mo about 40 minutes before wagering opened for the 137th Derby, set for Saturday at 6:24 p.m. The colt has been bothered by a stomach problem, but veterinarians couldn't find a reason for his decreased appetite, energy, and poor-looking coat.
May 6, 1994 |
The deepest, most talented field in perhaps a decade drew post positions for the 120th Kentucky Derby yesterday. Fifteen of the nation's best 3-year- old colts are scheduled to run here tomorrow in the world's most famous horse race (Channel 6, 5:32 p.m.). As expected, Holy Bull, the big gray gift horse who launched his Cinderella career at Monmouth Park in New Jersey last summer, was given the favorite's role at 8-5, and, to the delight of his Philadelphia connections, drew the No. 4 post position.
September 6, 1993 |
All week long Ben Perkins Jr. debated where he should run his star 3-year old, Storm Tower. The trainer had entered Storm Tower in both the Pennsylvania Derby and the one-mile Jerome Handicap at Belmont Park, but was leaning heavily to racing in New York. Yesterday morning, however, for a variety of reasons, he decided to start Storm Tower, the Wood Memorial winner, in today's $200,000 Pennsylvania Derby, a Grade II race covering 1 1/8 miles at Philadelphia Park, where he will be heavily favored to beat his 10 opponents from start to finish.
April 13, 2006 |
After watching Strong Contender work in the starting gate and gallop around Keeneland, John Ward walked back to his car a satisfied trainer. "You don't have to tinker with talent," Ward said yesterday. The talent may be there, but Strong Contender still needs a near-flawless performance in Saturday's $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes for a chance to run in the Kentucky Derby 3 weeks later. "We have a finite target," Ward said. "We have to be there. " The lightly raced Strong Contender is 2-for-2 and is running in his first stakes race.
May 5, 2016 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - From Spectacular Bid in 1979 to Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000, the Kentucky Derby often seemed an unsolvable puzzle with random results, not a single favorite winning. Since 2000, seven favorites have won, including Fu Peg, Smarty Jones, Street Sense, Big Brown and, the last 3 years, Orb, California Chrome and American Pharoah. What rarely made sense has made perfect sense lately. Which brings us to Nyquist, the most accomplished Derby favorite of this run, a Breeders' Cup champion, a Florida Derby winner, unbeaten in seven starts, four Grade I wins, a record $3.3 million in earnings, the most ever by any Derby entrant.
May 2, 2014 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - In a perfect world, Kentucky Derby favorite California Chrome would have drawn outside the other speed horses, where traffic is less likely to be an issue. Also in a perfect world, the Derby field would be limited to a rational 14, not an irrational 20, the biggest field allowed in any American race. Nothing is close to perfect in horse racing, a sport where what you think you know often becomes irrelevant a second after the horses leave the starting gate. So, trying to overanalyze yesterday afternoon's post position draw is really not worth the effort.
April 4, 2007 |
Michael Matz, the trainer of last year's Kentucky Derby winner, Barbaro, believes he has a 3-year-old capable of contending in this year's Derby. The problem: Matz doesn't believe his horse, Chelokee, will be able to get in the Derby. Matz said that Chelokee will be shipped from his winter headquarters in Florida to Keeneland in the next week or so. Matz plans to be ready to run him in the Kentucky Derby if he gets in the field. Chelokee's third-place finish in Saturday's Florida Derby, after a really tough trip, earned him $100,000, but this was the horse's first graded stake, and $100,000 typically isn't enough to crack the 20-horse Derby field.